It’s been 15 years, but I can’t go to Stellenbosch without getting all nostalgic of those old days. As I parked in front of what was the most frequented place in my three years as a student, I glanced over at the shithole de lapa is now and informed the car of girls ‘it wasn’t like that in my day’.
I had become an old person.
This is the first time I’m going out in the Bosch since I left it. And I mean really going out. Not dinner and wine out. We are dressed up, 80’s style in neon and ski pants and like only the past students we are dare to be. Terrace, like de lapa, is a thing of the past. But now known as ‘the square’, that area we dropped pints onto from the tollies balcony back in 2000 (first year. I was trying hard to fit in), has two clubs, a lot of outdoor heaters and a couple of bouncers asking people ID. (Not us though. Not even for a laugh. f*** em. They knew we were old).
Being the responsible (and old person) I now am, I wasn’t drinking as I was driving. But the hen and the crazy team in neon was. This is what I learnt going out in my old hood again.
In the school holidays, Stellenbosch really is as dead as you think it would be. In fact it’s worse. Of course we never knew how dead it would be as students, as we knew better than to leave the safety of home cooked meals at our parents house during the holidays. But now we know. It was dead. (Which sort of made being out, sober, at 34, in neon with crimped hair, ok… Ish)
It was reassuring to see that laws still don’t apply in Stellenbosch. You can still smoke in clubs there. (I actually haven’t a clue if this is legal in SA, or if kids just do what they like still, but I stank of smoke when I got home and it was awful). – see? old person.
Drinks are still cheap. Not go out and get drunk on only R20 cheap (although I’m sure back then there must have been someone else buying the rest of our drinks for the night!) but 3 drinks cost us R35. Or “a pound 50!!” as the British lass in our group proclaimed. It felt good that all of us were winning on the drinks bill and not just the international guest. 9 shots of caramel vodka cost R150. This seemed ridiculously cheap. But I don’t really drink shots (except that one time in franschhoek. Which can’t really count because… Franschhoek). Also, if memory serves, in 2001 the tequila’s were sometimes R2 each (on Tequila Tuesday) and were probably not made of tequila. So, the same probably applies to the “caramel vodka”.
Clubs have poles now. We went to two clubs, and both had a pole.
Also… I, apparently, don’t need to be drunk to swing round said pole to cheering drunk people. (Old person with misspent youth). Drunk people will cheer anything on. Even a 34 year old in Micky mouse pants.
Gentleman Afrikaans student boys still exist. I found one to walk me back to my car when I realised it was time to go home. It was oulik. (Time to go home was determined by ratio of my sobriety to number of jaegerbombs team neon had had, plus the shirtless student child who was dressing himself in the hens madonna bra. It was time. Old person time).
Apparently I still don’t look my age. Gentlemen Afrikaans guy pegged me at 28. This is great because I’m actually 34. It also sucks because previously people used to guess around 24 or 25. (Old person still looking younger than current age works for me).
According to gentlemen Afrikaans guy ‘you’ve aged well in your skin’. He spoke delicious english. So glad those Eendrag boys still try so hard at speaking to us English girls. That hasn’t changed. In fact, really… not a lot has. (Except me).